• Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

    Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

    “Our good web-master once posted an article of mine on this website about attracting kingfishers to urban gardens LINK. “As a follow-up to that, I decided to do this...

  • The Birds of Singapore – an online book

    The Birds of Singapore – an online book

    In May 1943, GC Madoc published “An Introduction to Malayan Birds.” He wrote his manuscript in Singapore’s Changi Prison where he was interned when the country fell into the...

  • Videocam: A powerful tool for studying birds

    Videocam: A powerful tool for studying birds

    1. Collecting birds: In the 19th century the equipment needed to study birds was the gun. Another skill necessary was a good stuffing technique in order to preserve the specimens....

  • Documenting bird calls and songs

    Documenting bird calls and songs

    Many local birdwatchers are able to recognise the birds behind the songs. However, interest in most cases ends there except for a few who make basic recordings. Erik Mobrand...

  • Should attempts be made to tame wild birds?

    Should attempts be made to tame wild birds?

    The first part of the series by aviculturist Lee Chiu San deals with whether birds can be tamed and whether they will remain tamed. The second part looks at whether it is...

  • Postings your observations and images

    Postings your observations and images

    Why should you post your observations and images? Southeast Asian birds are poorly studied in terms of behaviour and ecology. By posting your observations (and this include...

  • Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

    Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

    The above paper has just been published. Nature in Singapore is a peer-reviewed, online journal that publishes articles on the flora and fauna (e.g., biology, botany, zoology,...

White-Throated Kingfishers and their prey

White-Throated Kingfishers and their prey “I was rushing back home when I saw this breeding pair of White-throated Kingfishers (Halcyon smyrnensis) robbing a chick from the nest of a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius). “The tailorbirds were making very loud noises and that caught my full attention. So I stopped my car and quickly got down to get my gear ready. But before I could get out from my car the kingfisher had already caught hold of one chick. I could hear the chick calling. Of course the... Read More

Video clip of the White-throated Kingfisher’s call

Lena Chow sent in the video above to add visuals to an earlier account of the less common call of the White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS LINK. The kingfisher in the clip was perching on a television aerial on Lena’s neighbour’s rooftop, whinnying incessantly for at least 5 minutes.... Read More

White-throated Kingfisher and its nesting hole

in Kingfishers, Nesting  on Feb 22, 14 No Comments »
White-throated Kingfisher and its nesting hole Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was on the way home from bird watching on 31st December 2013 when he spotted this White-throated Kingfish (Halcyon smyrnensis) sitting on a road marker. He turned back to watch from a distance and realized that the kingfisher was using it as a convenient perch to enter and leave the nest that was about a meter up on the bank by the side of a main rural road. Its partner was watching from the secondary growth by the roadside. The location was at... Read More

Blue-eared Kingfisher casting pellet

Raptors and owls regularly cast pellets. Other than these groups of birds, kingfishers, bee-eaters, herons and shrikes similarly do so. These are carnivorous birds that swallow their prey together with bones, scales, feathers, furs, etc. The flesh is easily digested but the harder parts that are indigestible are compacted in the crop into a pellet and regurgitated a short time after eating. A summary of pellet casting has been compiled in Wang, L. K., M. Chan, Y. M. Chan,... Read More

Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

in Featured, Habitat, Kingfishers  on Feb 17, 14 2 Comments »
Water(hen) in the (bird) brain “Our good web-master once posted an article of mine on this website about attracting kingfishers to urban gardens LINK. “As a follow-up to that, I decided to do this piece on: 1. How to build water features that will bring birds to small urban spaces. 2. What kinds of plants and other life forms will flourish. 3. The types of birds that have visited my minute water bodies. “For any environment to be sustainable there must be water. This was ingrained into... Read More

Javan Myna caught by a Plantain Squirrel

Javan Myna caught by a Plantain Squirrel Eddy Swan was at the Japanese Garden on 21st November 2013 photographing kingfishers. Suddenly he heard the alarm call of a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus). A Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis) had a Javan Myna chick firmly clamped between its jaws (below). The adult mynas around were trying to rescue the chick by attacking the squirrel. Even a Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) joined in the attack. In trying to protect itself from the... Read More

Stork-billed Kingfisher casting pellet as it was about to swallow a fish

Stork-billed Kingfisher casting pellet as it was about to swallow a fish The video clip below by Jeremiah Loei shows a Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) manipulating a recently caught fish clamped between its mandibles. As it was bashing the fish against the branch, it showed signs of casting a pellet. The above image is a video grab at 24 seconds showing a brown pellet coming out of its mouth. This pellet is the undigested parts of the food it probably ate about half to an hour earlier. After casting the pellet, the kingfisher... Read More

Collared Kingfisher: Food for the young

Collared Kingfisher: Food for the young In June 2013, Goh Juan Hui documented a variety of food the adult Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) brought back to feed the young at the nest. The nest was a small opening of about 4cm diameter found on the vertical wall of a monsoon drain at the forest margin (below left). This opening was towards the top of the wall, well above the water level during rainy periods. The prey the adults brought back consisted of insects, arachnids, caterpillars, lizards and... Read More

Stork-billed Kingfisher – Stealing or Feeding?

“The Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) is an uncommon resident of Singapore (above, adult). This species is usually solitary, but a pair can sometimes be encountered. There used to be a pair that could be spotted at Pasir Ris Park. Recently, to the delight of park visitors, birders and photographers, this pair had multiplied to form a family of four. “From around mid April to early May 2013, this family of four kingfishers could be spotted on the... Read More

Common Kingfisher and Pied Kingfisher sharing a single pole

Common Kingfisher and Pied Kingfisher sharing a single pole “Just want to share some interesting photos taken in Mai Po Wetland Reserve Hong Kong today. “A Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) had been sharing the same stand with a Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) peacefully for almost one minute until the second Pied Kingfisher arrived and getting too close for comfort. The two Pied Kingfishers stayed only for a short period of time before flying to the far end of the pond to search for food. “It is first time we... Read More